New 5.0TA hitch - Demco Recon - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-05-2019, 05:44 PM   #1
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New 5.0TA hitch - Demco Recon

Finally got my rails and hitch installed today, now we’re all set for our trip to Chilliwack next month to pick up our 5.0TA. It almost came down to the wire – no one had a hitch rail bracket kit out yet for the new 2019 Ram, and no one wanted to attempt a custom installation. Then a couple of weeks ago I found out that Demco had a rail bracket kit available so we were in business.

I know the Andersen Ultimate is very popular with 5.0TA owners, I went a different direction and thought I’d share my experience just for the sake of diversity. Having towed a small fifth wheel for many years with a conventional hitch I just have a preference for that type of hitch head. Most traditional hitches are very heavy and also pretty bulky, but I found the Demco Recon and it seemed to me like the perfect hybrid between the Andersen and a traditional hitch. It has a pyramid shaped base like the Andersen with the hitch head mounted on a single vertical post, and the height adjustment works just like the Andersen. The single post not only makes it lighter than other traditional hitches (about 94 pounds) but also it takes up less space in the bed.

The Demco Recon is widely available online – if you’re interested in finding out more about it there are a couple of good videos and a ton of photos on eTrailer’s website at https://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel...DM8550043.html. It has jaws that completely surround the kingpin and grip it with no slop or wiggle so it should be very smooth, and there is also a locking bar that comes across behind the jaws so it is very secure. It also comes in a gooseneck mounted version, and the base for the gooseneck version is smaller and takes up less space in the bed than the Andersen gooseneck base.

I’ll report back on how I like it when we pick up our 5.0TA next month, the trip home to Texas should give me a pretty good idea of how it does.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:25 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update, David. Glad you "got her done!"
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Formerly owned a 2007 24' HiLo/ 2003 Tahoe combo. Interested in the 5.0TA
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:12 AM   #3
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David, thanks for the reply, that is what I wanted to see, looks like all you need is the trailer. Yes I'm sold on the Demco Recon hitch, may want the gooseneck style and the bed mounted ball just so I can have a flatbed floor if needed. We will be a Bandera in April and will be checking the Escape 5.0's, hope you would be there.

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Old 03-06-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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We will be a Bandera in April and will be checking the Escape 5.0's, hope you would be there.

trainman
Hate to miss a rally so close to home, but we won't be back from Chilliwack in time for the Bandera rally...maybe next year!
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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Looks like a nice option! Interested in your experience with it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:06 AM   #6
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��Are you going to have clearance for the pin mount to tool box? Maybe just camera angle but seems pretty close.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:11 AM   #7
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��Are you going to have clearance for the pin mount to tool box? Maybe just camera angle but seems pretty close.
Just the camera angle - 6'4" bed, I had the same setup in my old truck and it worked just fine, lots of room.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Finally got my rails and hitch installed today, now we’re all set for our trip to Chilliwack next month to pick up our 5.0TA. It almost came down to the wire – no one had a hitch rail bracket kit out yet for the new 2019 Ram, and no one wanted to attempt a custom installation. Then a couple of weeks ago I found out that Demco had a rail bracket kit available so we were in business.

I know the Andersen Ultimate is very popular with 5.0TA owners, I went a different direction and thought I’d share my experience just for the sake of diversity. Having towed a small fifth wheel for many years with a conventional hitch I just have a preference for that type of hitch head. Most traditional hitches are very heavy and also pretty bulky, but I found the Demco Recon and it seemed to me like the perfect hybrid between the Andersen and a traditional hitch. It has a pyramid shaped base like the Andersen with the hitch head mounted on a single vertical post, and the height adjustment works just like the Andersen. The single post not only makes it lighter than other traditional hitches (about 94 pounds) but also it takes up less space in the bed.

The Demco Recon is widely available online – if you’re interested in finding out more about it there are a couple of good videos and a ton of photos on eTrailer’s website at https://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel...DM8550043.html. It has jaws that completely surround the kingpin and grip it with no slop or wiggle so it should be very smooth, and there is also a locking bar that comes across behind the jaws so it is very secure. It also comes in a gooseneck mounted version, and the base for the gooseneck version is smaller and takes up less space in the bed than the Andersen gooseneck base.

I’ll report back on how I like it when we pick up our 5.0TA next month, the trip home to Texas should give me a pretty good idea of how it does.
Been towing our 5 TA for the last year and a half with a Demco Hijacker Double Pivot Hitch. Small footprint with a custom locking jaw that has performed exceptionally well. Absolutely no noise on any terrain. You have to look behind you to know you are towing anything. Arrived with trailer in Arizona a couple of weeks ago and was commenting to others on how well it works and how little room it takes up. Those few times I needed to take it out of the truck I was able to do it myself. May not be the lightest but definitely one of the strongest and best performing. PS I too have the tool box in front of the hitch in my Tundra. No problems.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:38 PM   #9
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We picked up our 5.0TA yesterday and got all set up with the Demco Recon. It worked out perfectly, we are nice and level with very little back end squat, the new progressive coil springs in the 2019 Ram are doing their job. It seems to hitch and unhitch easily, pretty much like any other fifth wheel hitch I suppose. But compared to our old basic Reese hitch from 20 years ago, the Demco rides completely smooth and quiet - no play at all in the jaw mechanism.

One thing to be aware of, though. The Recon is a bit taller than many hitches - adjusts I believe from 15 to 18.5", and if you use the rail mounted version the rails add another inch of thickness as they would to any hitch. We got the high lift axle, and on our 2019 Ram the trailer sits level with the hitch on the lowest height setting. Without the high lift axle it would have been nose-high and would have required that the pin box be moved up to the higher setting. Not sure whether ETI would have been willing to do that on the spot at orientation, so something to be aware of in the setup of this hitch.

It takes up very little space in the bed and weighs half or less of what most standard fifth wheel hitches do, I like that a lot. If there are any significant things to report after we have some miles under our belt towing with it I'll update this.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
It takes up very little space in the bed and weighs half or less of what most standard fifth wheel hitches do, I like that a lot.
What are the dimensions of the base? They don't seem to be advertised anywhere.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #11
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What are the dimensions of the base? They don't seem to be advertised anywhere.
The rail mounted base is 24" deep x 24-3/4" wide.

The gooseneck ball mounted base is bigger, 28" deep by 30-1/2" wide, I think that is a good bit smaller than the Andersen gooseneck base. On the gooseneck version the hitch is offset 3" to the rear behind the gooseneck ball.

If I had it to do over I might go for the gooseneck version, cleaner in the bed without the rails. And the 3" offset would give a little extra clearance for the tailgate, ours will open when hitched but just barely.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
The rail mounted base is 24" deep x 24-3/4" wide.

The gooseneck ball mounted base is bigger, 28" deep by 30-1/2" wide, I think that is a good bit smaller than the Andersen gooseneck base. On the gooseneck version the hitch is offset 3" to the rear behind the gooseneck ball.

If I had it to do over I might go for the gooseneck version, cleaner in the bed without the rails. And the 3" offset would give a little extra clearance for the tailgate, ours will open when hitched but just barely.
Thanks for the numbers.

I love using my Anderson Gooseneck for it's ease of use and how well it works. I do kinda wish I had a bit smaller base to better stow stuff around it. The loss of usable space in the bed is about the only thing I don't like about it, thus looking at other options.

With the offset to the rear, I can just open my tailgate when straight with about an inch to spare, not much more.

I don't have the lift package on my trailer though, and would not care to tow with the hitch high. I guess installing the lift kit would not be a problem.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:09 PM   #13
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Thanks for the numbers.

I love using my Anderson Gooseneck for it's ease of use and how well it works. I do kinda wish I had a bit smaller base to better stow stuff around it. The loss of usable space in the bed is about the only thing I don't like about it, thus looking at other options.

With the offset to the rear, I can just open my tailgate when straight with about an inch to spare, not much more.

I don't have the lift package on my trailer though, and would not care to tow with the hitch high. I guess installing the lift kit would not be a problem.
In my Ram the rails add a good inch of height to the hitch, plus there is an additional mounting bracket under the back rails that adds another 3/4 inch because of a quirk in the rail mounting unique to this truck. The gooseneck base would sit flat on the bed and thus be lower.

I have a toolbox mounted in the front of my 6-4 bed and the Andersen gooseneck base would not have left enough room for that, but the Demco gooseneck base would fit. I find that leaves and debris collect in the space between the base and bed around the rails and are a pain to clean out, with the gooseneck base sitting right on the bed that would not be an issue.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Thanks for the numbers.

I love using my Anderson Gooseneck for it's ease of use and how well it works. I do kinda wish I had a bit smaller base to better stow stuff around it. The loss of usable space in the bed is about the only thing I don't like about it, thus looking at other options.

With the offset to the rear, I can just open my tailgate when straight with about an inch to spare, not much more.

I don't have the lift package on my trailer though, and would not care to tow with the hitch high. I guess installing the lift kit would not be a problem.
😎You can fit a lot of stuff in the hitch on the rail mount.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Thanks for the numbers.

I love using my Anderson Gooseneck for it's ease of use and how well it works. I do kinda wish I had a bit smaller base to better stow stuff around it. The loss of usable space in the bed is about the only thing I don't like about it, thus looking at other options.

With the offset to the rear, I can just open my tailgate when straight with about an inch to spare, not much more.

I don't have the lift package on my trailer though, and would not care to tow with the hitch high. I guess installing the lift kit would not be a problem.
🤔Standard height on my trailer, ball height on hitch at lowest setting and trailer rides perfectly level, 2016 F150, 4x4.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:45 PM   #16
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😎You can fit a lot of stuff in the hitch on the rail mount.
I like the box for the levelers! Is it attached in any way?
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #17
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I like the box for the levelers! Is it attached in any way?
No, made it out of some PVC board I had laying around just to keep levelers from shifting around. I can fit a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet folded up and tucked in on top of levelers also.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:28 PM   #18
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The Recon is part of Demco's Premier line of fifth-wheel hitches. Unfortunately, while the product pages there offer full installation instructions with drawings, they don't give any dimensions.
21K Recon DBL Pivot for Industry Standard Bedrails
21K Recon DBL Pivot for Goose Neck Ball Mount
The front-to-back dimension of any "industry standard rail" mounted hitch is determined by the standard rail spacing (21" on centre) and width, so they're all 24 inches. The rail-mounted Demco Recon base is roughly square, as David's dimensions show.

"Gooseneck"-anchored bases are usually larger (as is the case with the Andersen Ultimate), but in the drawings the modest dimensions of the gooseneck Recon which David provided are apparent.

Given my experience with Demco, I'm sure they would provide any other dimensions or description if asked.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:09 PM   #19
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No, made it out of some PVC board I had laying around just to keep levelers from shifting around. I can fit a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet folded up and tucked in on top of levelers also.
My to do list keeps getting longer...
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:24 PM   #20
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Well, after towing 2,500 miles from Chilliwack to Austin I can report that I am very happy with the Demco Recon hitch. It hitches/unhitches easily and rides very smooth and quiet. The jaws fully surround the kingpin with no slop at all so there is no clunking or jerking, and there is an additional steel bar that slides across in back of the jaws when closed for extra security. One nice feature of this hitch - others may have it too - is that it has polyurethane bumpers for when it tilts both forward/backward and side to side. They limit the travel when not hitched so the head doesn't bounce and clang around, and when hitched they compress under load to provide plenty of articulation in both directions.
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